PARROT's FEATHER

Myriophyllum aquaticum

Water-Milfoil Family [Haloragaceae]  

The (whitish) flowers are so small that no-one says when it flowers!

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8white
 
petals
petalsZ1
 1 ??
stem
stem8round
 
sex
sexZdioecious
 

23rd Sept 2008, Blackleach Educational Pond, Walkden, Mcr Photo: © RWD
(Before eradication)


23rd Sept 2008, Blackleach Educational Pond, Walkden, Mcr Photo: © RWD
(Before eradication)


23rd Sept 2008, Blackleach Educational Pond, Walkden, Mcr Photo: © RWD
(Before eradication). It has long trailing underground brittle stems up to 2m long and 3-4mm in diameter.


23rd Sept 2008, Blackleach Educational Pond, Walkden, Mcr Photo: © RWD
[Hand-held photo - it doesn't grow this high!] (Before eradication). Leaves in whorls of 4 to 6 around the stem.


23rd Sept 2008, Blackleach Educational Pond, Walkden, Mcr Photo: © RWD
[Hand-held photo - it doesn't grow this high!] (Before eradication). Leaves above water-level are pale green-blue and finely pinnate, with between 8 and 30 side-branches. They are covered with a waterproof waxy coating.
Whereas leaves which are below water level are brownish and limp, often deteriorating.


23rd Sept 2008, Blackleach Educational Pond, Walkden, Mcr Photo: © RWD
[Hand-held photo - it doesn't grow this high!]. (Before eradication)


Easily confused with other Water-Milfoils, of which it is a member, until it is understood that this is the only Water-Milfoil that is partly above the water and not wholly submerged.

This is another problematic plant in that it quickly invades any still freshwater where it has been discarded by aquatic gardeners, to the detriment and ultimately entire exclusion of all other aquatic plants and fish in the pond. It has spread very quickly from being virtually un-known in Britain two decades ago. If it should start growing in any lake, pond, canal, reservoirs, flooded quarries or other still waters it should be reported so that the infestation of this foreign invader can be dealt with by the authorities.

The upper leaves can turn a brilliant crimson-red which contrasts well with lower still-green leaves making for a spectacular show en-masse.

A dioecious plant, with male and female flowers on separate plants. However, almost all plants outside of South America are female, including the ones pictured above, and have tiny white flowers only 2mm across with up to 6 in a whorl around the stem in the axils of the leaves. Like the leaves, the flowers are in whorls and emerge in the axils of the emergent stems. The male plants have no flowers. The plant therefore does not reproduce sexually outside of South America, and reproduces only via vegetative propagation or by root division or from plant fragments. No source seems to indicate how many petals the (female) flowers have.

It is tolerant to frost and present throughout the year. Becoming commoner in Southern Britain.


  Myriophyllum aquaticum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Haloragaceae  

Distribution
family8Water-Milfoil family8Haloragaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Myriophyllum
Myriophyllum
(Water-millfoils)

PARROT's FEATHER

Myriophyllum aquaticum

Water-Milfoil Family [Haloragaceae]  

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